MAC: Mines and Communities

US update

Published by MAC on 2007-09-06

US update

6th September 2007

There is growing evidence to doubt - if not deplore - arguments used by some environmental NGOs that using carbon "offsets" (or trading in mercury emissions' "credits") contributes to an improved global environment.

At the very least, some community members, somewhere, will continue to bear an acceptable burden. As the author of the following critique points out: ""[I]t's all well and good... [to] curtail emissions elsewhere, or trade mercury emissions credits, but that does nothing to safeguard the community where the actual power plant belches out toxins."

Coal mining continues to underpin the US's apparently unquenchable thirst for power, but the Bush regime - ever mindful of rich corporate backing by the energy sector - has been busily promoting uranium mining and nuclear power as central to combating global warming. At last month's APEC gathering in Sydney, Bush boosted the new “Global Nuclear Energy Partnership”, to which China, France, Japan, Russia and the United States have already signed up.

Heading - if modestly - in a contrary direction is the Democratic Party-controlled US Congress. Its intention to mandate that utilities generate at least 15 percent of their power from renewable sources (such as wind power and solar) by 2020, is now under attack from the steel industry

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